Sandstone Press

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

RRP: £8.99
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781912240166
Publication Date: 21/06/2018
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Celestial Bodies

Jokha Alharthi

Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2019!

Winner of the 2010 Best Omani Novel Award!

Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman’s coming-of-age through the prism of one family’s losses and loves.

Translated by Marilyn Booth

Jokha Alharthi

Jokha Alharthi portrait

Jokha Alharthi is the first Omani woman to have a novel translated into English, and Celestial Bodies is the first book translated from Arabic to win the Man Booker International Prize. Alharthi...

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‘A richly imagined, engaging and poetic insight into a society in transition and into lives previously obscured.’
-The Man Booker International Prize judges

‘A beautifully written and very moving story.’
-Nicola Sturgeon

-The Guardian

‘The novel rewards readers willing to assemble the pieces of Alharthi’s puzzle into a whole, and is all the more satisfying for the complexity of its tale.’
-Starred review, Publishers Weekly

‘Brings a distinctive and important new voice to world literature.’
-The Irish Times

‘A richly layered, ambitious work that teems with human struggles and contradictions, providing fascinating insight into Omani history and society.’
-Kirkus Reviews

‘It skilfully builds suspense by creating “Aha!” moments as characters come to better understand their pasts.’
-Marcia Lynx Qualey, The National

-Women In Translation

‘Blends the rhythms of daily life with magic and legend.’
-Muhammad Barrada

‘Alharthi has a strong narrative gift, transporting the reader into all the intimacies of a close-knit family group.’
-The Bay Magazine

‘Finished it in a couple of sittings, addictive, compelling, informative and completely fascinating to read! Definitely recommend it, fingers crossed it appears on the short list too.’
-Fiona Sharp, Independent Book Reviews

‘Well written and multi-faceted, as every book long-listed for the Man Booker International Prize ought to be.’
-Dolce Belleza

‘Delivers the reader immediately into the world of the marginal, forgotten, most subaltern sectors of society.’
-Ibrahim al-Hajari

‘This novel is interesting as a lens through which to view an important time in the transition of Omani society’
-The Wee Review